Top 7 Cafes in Edinburgh That You Shouldn’t Miss

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Finding a great coffee is one of the great joys in life. If you love a cup of coffee to start your day, you’re a connoisseur of tea, or you love some cake and a butty during your lunch break, the chances are that you’ll want to know all about what these Edinburgh cafes have to offer.

Now, Edinburgh has some fantastic takeaways and restaurants for you to visit during your time living there as a student, but it also has a buzzing café scene, and that’s what we’re all about here.

Hand holing coffee on a table - Cafes Edinburgh

1. Union Brew Lab

For those who are nerdy about their coffee, Brew Lab is the perfect place to come for a regular cup of your favourite drink. The whole premise behind Brew Lab is to look into the science behind making the perfect coffee, offering the greatest espresso blends available and the highest quality of filter coffee.

It is a hip, cool place to hang, out with friends or to pop in with a book for a break from uni. The free Wi-Fi makes it a popular place with students, but there is a good blend between the uni crowd, the locals and the workers from the surrounding areas, as well as a nod to other independent stores in the city that supply the tea, the pastries, cakes, and soups on the Brew Lab food menu.



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Location: S College Street. EH8 9AA


2. Lowdown

The main selling point of Lowdown is that it is a small and stylish place to visit for a cup of tea or a small bite to eat. It has a minimalist design and a small menu, but everything you see, and feel is perfectly crafted, and this can be very comforting if you are looking for local cafes in Edinburgh to call your own.

Everything is delicate and prepared with care, and this creates a calm atmosphere that you can really sit down and enjoy, including the fantastic customer service.



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Location: George Street. EH2 2LE

3. The Beach House

One of the joys of going to a café is indulging in a delicious, oozy cheese toastie and there are some spectacular versions of this in the best cafes Edinburgh has to offer.

Head down to the beautiful Portobello along the coast to the east of the city, and you’ll find The Beach House. It is a low-key, chilled-out café where you can drink a cup of coffee with one of the latest bakes or choose from the toastie and panini menu.

There are some delicious options, including a large, tasty toastie with chicken bacon, spinach tomato, and red onion along with a garlic mayo.


Location: Bath Street, Portobello. EH15 1HE


The ambience at Lovecrumbs is one of cosy, cluttered and quirky café space that offers plenty of room.

If you want to stay in for a cup of tea and a chill-out or go to do an hour of work in peace(although there are no laptops allowed at weekends), Lovecrumbs is the place for you.

Everything on the menu is sourced locally and it is veggie and vegan-friendly. Lovecrumbs is a central part of the local community and sells a curated range of home and lifestyle products from local, independent crafts and art sellers.



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Location: West Port. EH3 9DP

5. Union of Genius

Utilising the best of local produce, the Union of Genius is a small and friendly café with the biggest of ideas. It is the first and the best soup kitchen in Scotland, serving up 6 homemade soups every single day on a rotation, with some exotic taste combinations from all around the world.

The Caldo Verde has been a firm favourite on the menu since opening day and chorizo, kale and potato soup warms the soul. Depending on the day you might also find them serving butternut and bacon, cock-a-leekie, coronation chicken, or the awesome Swede.

Keen to stay connected to the local community, the artisan bread with each bowl is provided by a local bakery, and the tea, coffee, and cakes are all sourced from independent cafés and vendors in Edinburgh.



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Location : Forrest Road. EH1 2QN

6. Söderberg

This Swedish bakery/café is now in Edinburgh with a focus on quality ingredients and a friendly, welcoming staff in each spot throughout the city.

There are the usual coffee, tea, cakes, and pastries along with the Swedish-style open sandwiches, but the cardamom buns really do stand out and keep people coming back for more and more.

As you would expect from a Scandi-café, all the branches are extremely relaxed, which is exactly what you want when you are stepping inside as a break away from your hectic day.



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Multiple Edinburgh locations

7. Café Portrait

A truly stunning setting inside the National Portrait Gallery in the heart of Edinburgh, this art café is one of the stand-out jewels in the art café Edinburgh scene.

To sit inside with a cup of tea or coffee, looking at the magnificent gothic windows and the stunning artwork on the walls all around you, is a time to treasure.

The space has a buzz of calm and creativity about it, with a seasonal menu that changes on a daily basis. It’s a self-service vibe with a salad bar and many meal choices, so maybe try it out for the first time outside of the lunchtime rush, but whenever you go, you won’t be disappointed.


Location: National Portrait Gallery, Queen Street. EH2 1JD

Whether you want to head down to your new favourite café in Edinburgh with a book to relax for a few hours or you need somewhere away from your to get some work done in a chilled-out environment, there are plenty of options in this magical city. From fantastic coffee, the best cake around, and the sumptuous cheese toastie selection, we’ve got you covered for Edinburgh cafes.

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